Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria changes in a way where antibiotics become less effective, and in turn illnesses become difficult to treat. It is difficult to see whether antibiotics are no longer working whilst taking them at home. You may notice yourself getting sicker and may eventually require hospital admission. People with weakened immune systems are more likely to be at risk if they develop antibiotic resistance, especially if they regularly take antibiotics to treat trivial conditions.
There are many things which can contribute to antibiotic resistance. Some of the main causes of antibiotic resistance occurs when overusing antibiotics when they’re not needed or forgetting to take antibiotics on time, as well as missing doses. Sometimes bacteria itself can mutate on its own and the antibiotics won’t recognise this change. Therefore, it makes the drug less effective and cannot target the bacteria the way it should.
Did you know, you can even pass a bacterial infection to someone else, which is already antibiotic resistant?! If that person now has the contagious bacterial infection, it will not respond to antibiotics, making it difficult to treat.
The following steps can lower your risk of developing antibiotic resistance:
- Only take antibiotics which have only been prescribed for you.
- Follow your healthcare provider’s advice to avoid unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions, as you may not need them
- Always remember to take your dose on time. It may help to set a reminder, so you don’t miss a dose.
- Take the medication as prescribed. Don’t stop the course, even if you feel better.